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Molly Make-Believe
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Molly Make-Believe

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  34 reviews
What's a fellow to do when the girl he loves doesn't exist?

Recovering from a long illness, Boston businessman Carl Stanton is unable to accompany his fiancée Cornelia on a mid-winter trip to warm and sunny Jacksonville. Lonely, bored, and disappointed in Cornelia’s lack of affection, Carl decides to answer an advertisement from the Serial-Letter Company, which promises rea
ebook, Legacy Vintage Collection Enhanced Edition
Published February 14th 2012 by Legacy Romance (first published 1911)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Such a delightful, innocent, lighthearted story! It was so much fun to listen to the reading of it while working. Molly's letters to lonely, rheumatic Carl are so sprightly and ingenious that it's almost as good as getting them yourself.

The narrator is pleasant to hear, and most words are well pronounced. A few were incorrect, but it's actually one of the better readings I've heard.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is at heart a very simple story, and the product blurb describes it to a "T", so I'm just here to drop some hints and talk about the reading experience. Carl Stanton is sick and stuck at home while his *loving* fiancé is off gallivanting around having a gay old-time in Florida. Bored and lonely, Carl comes across a flyer for The Serial Letter Company and he signs on for the full treatment,

"For the enclosed check--which you will notice doubles the amount of your advertised price--kindly ente
This is a darling of a book! I wanted to hug it. (I'm grateful for Project Gutenberg and all of these vintage treasures I'm encountering online, but, really, there's nothing like a real-and-truly book to have and to hold when it's one you love.) I knew as soon as I read the advertisement from the Serial-Letter Company that this would become a favorite. It is, to all appearances, a fairly obvious love story -- at least, the ending seemed a foregone conclusion to me. Yet, it has surprising depth a ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This was a cute book. Absolutely cute. I was a reminded a bit of cute classic films like The Shop Around the Corner and Christmas in Connecticut -- a little screwball, very improbable, and ultimately adorable.

The premise is very simple: Carl Stanton, a Boston businessman, is housebound with rheumatism (in this case, terrible pain and malingering cold of some kind) while his cool and gorgeous fiancée Cornelia winters in Jacksonville with her mother. In her goodbye letter, Cornelia tells him she w
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good grief. You've heard of actors "chewing up dialogue"? Here's an example of a writer chewing up her words:
"But sleep did not come. Oh, no! Nothing new came at all except that particularly wretched, itching type of insomnia which seems to rip away from one's body the whole kind, protecting skin and expose all the raw, ticklish fretwork of nerves to the mercy of a gritty blanket or a wrinkled sheet. Pain came too, in its most brutally high night-tide; and sweat, like the smother of furs in summ
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly lovely, enchanting, and adorably sweet book!

I was continually surprised and delighted at the depth of the characters and even those that seemed initially as though they might be caricature-ish ended up having far more to them than I'd anticipated!

The story is short so not as detailed as it could have been were it indeed longer. But that doesn't detract from the charm. It's almost like a delightfully detailed short story rather than a full novel. A happy in between :)

So glad I read this b
Felicia J.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Felicia by: Legacy Vintage Collection, At Home With a Good Book and the Cat
Shelves: classics
"I seem to have found out suddenly that the mere fact of loving a woman does not necessarily prove her that much coveted 'journey's end.'"

4.5 stars

Carl Stanton is enduring an interminable stretch of lonely winter hours, cooped up in his Boston apartment with rheumatism, while his lovely fiancee Cornelia enjoys a Florida vacation. On a whim, Carl signs up for "comfort and entertainment" from "The Serial Letter Company," and soon finds himself in a terrible quandary. He cannot help but to compare
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story soo much. I recommend it for all.
Mary Grace McGeehan
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-year-in-1918
Carl, living alone in an apartment in Boston, is seriously ill with rheumatic fever. His fiancee has decamped to Florida, saying that she'll write once a week, maybe, if she feels like it. He comes across an advertisement for a correspondence service that will send a love letter every day (available in three varieties: shy, medium, and very intense), and impulsively signs up. The woman behind the letters turns out to be the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and it all plays out as you'd imagine. ...more
Sarah Epton
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book came with the house my husband bought and it was so much like the old books that populated the shelves of my grandparents' house, where I grew up, and filled my young head with turn of the century frivolous prose, (think Elsie Dinsmore, all, Patty went to College, the lesser known works of L.M. Montgomery, etc.) that on a snowy day when football HAD to be on the t.v., I finally had to sit down and devour it. It was charming, lighthearted, full of not-meant-to-be-interesting period deta ...more
Carolyn Page
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this all in one sitting in the public library, as the outer-library-loan originator for the book didn't want it leaving the building. It's adorable! A young lady (with perhaps not the best head for business) sends letters to people as whoever they want. A young man, missing correspondence from his fiance, signs up for letters from a "sweetheart" to show her a lesson. You can guess what happens!
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This was adorable although the romance was a bit unbelievable (I hate it when characters "fall in love" without actually knowing anything about each other), and Molly's character seemed all over the place. However, I totally want to start a letter subscription service now!!!
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So light and fun.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun short story. Rather predictable, I suppose (I mean, how else could one expect it to end?), but I enjoyed it.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: comfort readers
I'm surprised I didn't review this before, but I guess I've had so much trouble adding Gutenberg and other pre-ISBN classics to Goodreads that I didn't think of it. This was my first introduction to EHA, and I loved it. I myself was down with the flu and feeling immensely sorry for myself, like you do, when I first downloaded this from Gutenberg and hoped for a fairytale. Which it is, in a way.

A young man suffering from "the meanest sort of rheumatism" (by which I think she meant rheumatic fever
Anna Marie
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Eleanor Abbot wrote this in 1897. It was first published in 1910. It's been re-released in 2012. And I know why... because it sounds like 'Little Women' but reads like an e-book, with the depth of the modern writer in spite of it's era and language.

In other words, apparently Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, and the like were TALENTED, not just old writers. This lady? Was not.

The premise was... intriguing, but once I opened the book, I found it pitifully done. Carl is pathetically weak and in horrible pa
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fluffy, kinda silly turn-of-the-century romance. It was fun to read, but not too profound. What got me to read it was the interesting premise: Man who is very sick is disappointed because his fiancee is going on vacation and seems to think he can just fend for himself, so she won't hardly even write letters to him. In passing, she suggests that he subscribe to a letter service: you can sign up to receive love letters, letters from a historical figure, letters from a squirrel, letters from a pira ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, librivox
Written in 1910. I found this book on Librivox app. and appreciate the volunteer reading but found the mispronunciation of so many basic words distracting. That aside, I wanted to enjoy this story. Another reviewer referenced the movie The Shop Around the Corner, a sweet old movie with Jimmy Stewart later remade as You've Got Mail. Molly Makebelieve has some plot lines that don't get explained so it's hard to understand what motivates the characters to do certain things as the story moves along. ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a pleasant surprise. I listened to the librivox version while working around the house. The story is about a man laid up in bed in great pain. He longs for letters, but his fiance, who has recently taken a trip from Boston to Florida, emphatically states she will seldom write. She suggests that, if he wants letters, he subscribe to a letter writing service. On a whim, he does, and signs up for 6 weeks of daily love letters. What happens next is amusing and well written.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I re-read this book at least once a year. It's sweetness and humor, along with the romantic allure of a "Serial Correspondence Co.," makes it a treat and a sure cure for the bad day. It's my ultimate feel-good romance, and if you're in need of a charming pick-me-up, I would absolutely suggest that you read Molly and Carl's story.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2009, fiction
I chose this book from librivox because I thought I knew the author. It turned out to be a different author, but I still liked the story. Or at least the concept. The story started promising and continued as a very captivating and sweet story, but the ending was too brief and left me with too many unanswered question for me to give it more than three stars. What a pity!
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
This book came to me in a pile of old books from my husbands grandmother. I love old books and immediately decided to read this one. It is a fun little story. Very light on character development and a quick resolution to the story. Nonetheless, it was fun to read and get a look into life in the early 1900's.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun, short story about a man engaged to a woman, who is devoid of affection, only to find true love through a letter writing service. Carl's perspective as he develops feelings for the compassionate and nurturing Molly is priceless. Free on Project Gutenberg ;)
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charmingly romantic story of an invalid, left to solitary recuperation, who subscribes to a letter service to keep his spirits up. The characters here are much more fully drawn than Abbott's typical archetypes.
Ronda Panucci
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this delightful book, read by a volunteer from Librovox. I purchased it from I listened to it from start to finish. It is by no means a large book, but it made for wonderful listening. What a wonderful and intreguing story. Certainly worth the listen!
Jul 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read such an old book. I think it was published in 1917 or something and aside from being afraid I was going to damage the cover or pages, I totally enjoyed it. Such a cute read! The language is different and the style is definitely different!
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Such a fun little book. So very 1913 . Quick read . Sweet little romance novel.
Very, very good book.
Betsie Bush
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet little love story. I especially like the idea of the serial letter writting company... reminds me of Tasha Tudor or the Fairy Fieldmouse.
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
A really whimsical, innocent, and humorous little adventure/romance. Sort of like Miss Molly Make-Beleive herself. Great for a rainy day.
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Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was a nationally recognized American author. She was a frequent contributor to The Ladies' Home Journal.
“Then Night came down like the feathery soot of a smoky lamp, and smutted[9] first the bedquilt, then the hearth-rug, then the window-seat, and then at last the great, stormy, faraway outside world. But sleep did not come. Oh, no! Nothing new came at all except that particularly wretched, itching type of insomnia which seems to rip away from one's body the whole kind, protecting skin and expose all the raw, ticklish fretwork of nerves to the mercy of a gritty blanket or a wrinkled sheet. Pain came too, in its most brutally high night-tide; and sweat, like the smother of furs in summer; and thirst like the scrape of hot sand-paper; and chill like the clammy horror of raw fish.” 17 likes
“Now everybody who knows anything at all knows perfectly well that even a business letter does not deserve the paper on which it is written unless it contains at least one significant phrase that is worth waking up in the night to remember and think about.” 8 likes
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